HUDSON, TX (KTRE) - It's been nine years since Hudson High School has had a member of its track team to spring his or her way to a first-place finish at the state track meet. Sophomore Payton Davis clinched the title on Saturday during the UIL Track & Field 2015 State Championships at the Mike A. Myers Stadium at the University of Texas in Austin.
"When I first came across the line, I didn't know I had one," said Davis, whose big sister Ashley Davis was a star softball player from Hudson who graduated in 2014. "I had to wait for a second because I thought it was a lot closer. I looked up at the Megatron, and my name came first and I was very happy for it."
Payton is one of some 40 members on the Hudson High Boys Track team that trains under Coach Josh Stewart. He was pleasantly surprised with how quickly Davis' speed has increased from his freshman year when he ran the 400-meter dash in 51 seconds. At UIL Regional, Davis shaved more than a second off his time to place second with 487.74 seconds.
"He was in very good condition last year," Coach Stewart recalled. "So dropping as much time as he did this year, from the start, it really was a shock."
Davis clocked in at 48.67 at state to take the gold medal in the 4A Division. Davis bested Floyd Green of Houston Wheatley by .18 of a second, which was redemption because Green took first over Davis at Regional.
"I almost started crying on the field because I was so overjoyed with emotions," Davis said with pride.
He also was glad to share the moment with family.
""My mom and my sister were crying when I hugged them," Davis beamed. "It was a very good moment for all three of us. They've pushed me every step. Every year, they've kept my head up. I'd come home and practice didn't go well, they'd keep me going."
Davis is still in training and looking forward to another meet. On Saturday he will head to Waco for another contest called "The Meet of Champions" hosted by the Texas Track & Field Coaches Association. The event takes place at Baylor University and brings all the top finishers from the UIL levels to compete against one another.
As for gold medal history, the last time a member of Hudson's track team brought home a state gold medal was Miles O'Neil in 2006 in the 800-meter dash.